Local hospital cooks up traditional winter remedy

Shanghai Yueyang Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine is busy preparing gaofang, a tonic intended to ease fatigue, improve sleep and bolster health.

With the arrival of lidong, or start of winter according to the Chinese calendar, on Friday, one local hospital has started to prepare its own gaofang, a seasonal herbal paste tonic.

Shanghai Yueyang Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine is the only hospital in the city making its own gaofang; other hospitals buy mass-produced tonics from pharmaceutical companies. Some 100 bronze pots were filled with Chinese herbs and different TCM ingredients to make the tonic.

The hospital writes over 20,000 prescriptions for gaofang each year. “Yueyang launched its Gaofang Clinic over 40 years ago. Gaofang is not only popular among elderly people, it has also been welcomed by young and middle-aged people in recent years for its effects on easing fatigue, improving sleep and enhancing health,” said Dr Zhou Jia, president of Yueyang. “We plan to introduce gaofang to other countries under the Belt and Road initiative to further promote Chinese culture and TCM next year.”

Chinese people consider winter to be the best time to take gaofang and other TCM therapies that improve health and prevent disease for the coming year.

Local hospital cooks up traditional winter remedy
Ti Gong

Staff at Shanghai Yueyang Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine boil gaofang with the arrival of lidong on Friday.

Local hospital cooks up traditional winter remedy
Ti Gong

Dr Zhou Jia, president of Yueyang, checks the hospital's gaofang.

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